There are currently two valid ways to check Covid. Vaccines and Monoclonal antibodies. I think both are awesome and I’m glad they exist. I’m sure that they will save millions of lives.
Antivax people often claim that vaccines are just a big pharma thing. Many of them are also huge proponents of Regeneron’s Monoclonal treatment.
To be clear, both are developed by Big Pharma. Literally, no difference here. Regeneron is trading at nearly $600 a share and is worth over 50 billion dollars. That’s big in my book and it is Regeneron Pharmaceuticals so I don’t think they made their money in the vitamin business.
Anti-vaxxers will also claim that the vaccines are dangerous, will change our DNA, the worst is yet to come, you’ll see. It is super dangerous because it messes with some fundamental cellular process. Okay, it is very science fictiony and it scared me at first a bit. I could see the plot line, write it, how this leads to the zombie apocalypse but… if you’re looking for good Sci Fi there are some great stories in the world of Cloning! Right? Wellllllll, monoCLONAL is…. wait for it, Cloning technology. Dudes! How is this NOT as dangerous and the other is? I could write the zombie invasion on this one too.
I call that a coin flip for the zombies.
Anti-vaxxers also rail about experimental vaccines and that we are being used as guinea pigs to make big pharma rich or to install chips.
The vaccines started with emergency use authorization and now, at least some of them, have full authorization. Regeneron’s monoclonal is still under emergency use. So, if we were guinea pigs for the vaccine, we are for this as well.
Again, a coin flip.
Both these techs are highly specialized and if you think you know how they work you must have an advanced degree in actual science of some kind. I tried to read the science behind both and got to Farside Dog status pretty quickly. Both have been around for decades.
Okay, okay now it’s time and I’m gonna use my 2nd Grade math skills here.
The US Government is paying for both these things – vaccines and the monoclonal treatment. The vaccines are free to the public and the other is free but may have some administrative costs. For many it is also free. Let’s call that a wash for me and you.
However, two things to keep in mind, there is a difference in what each costs and it ain’t chump change. The vaccine is running about $15 per dose with even a booster dose thrown in, that’s $45 per person. That to me sounds like a bargain to avoid lungs that turn to clay.
Monoclonal? $2100 dollars for Uncle Sam to pay for one dose of that one. Yikes, no, really? And you may need more than one dose and it’s temporary, so you may need to get it again at a later date.
But, sticking to that second grade math thing, let’s give it a break and say it just costs $2100. (Oh, and it’s an IV and it takes 20 minutes.)
For 100,000 does of this just move that decimal over 5 places and… 10,000,000,000. That is 10 BILLION dollars to Regeneron.
Can you say “raise the debt ceiling?”
Oh, and bonus fact, WE the tax payers will have to pay for this. That’s how it works in the long run. And I’m not sure if we also paid to help develop it, probably some subsidies in there somewhere but perhaps I’m just cynical. We helped develop some, not all, of the vaccines.
Okay, the 2nd grade math on the vaccines. $45 (including booster.) for 100,000 doses of that? $4,500,000. Not chump change but definitely a cheaper alternative.
To sum up, both Big Pharma, both free (sort of), both experimental.
Vaccines, preventative; Monoclonal, you have to be sick to get it.
And that brings us back to the biggest button of all: Choice.
Peter Kjenaas is an author, screenwriter, theater director, producer, chef, AirBnB host, parent and caregiver extraordinaire. And now he adds travel writer to his resumé as he sets off across the country in a 1971 VW camper bus. But first and foremost he is a caring and productive human who has graciously allowed us to post some of his writings to this site. See his latest book at PeterKjenaas.com, and his travel adventures at Riders on the Storm Bus.